BY BTL STAFF
In the wake of a game-changing election, Groundswell Fund, the largest funder of the U.S. Reproductive Justice movement will launch a new national Liberation Fund to support the strongest grassroots organizing efforts led by women of color and transgender people of color across social justice sectors.
Groundswell’s leadership believes that strong grassroots organizing that holds public officials accountable in their home districts is critical to protecting and advancing rights; and that, in the era of Trump, the two groups that bear the greatest burden of white supremacy and misogyny in the U.S. – women of color and transgender people of color – have a vital leadership role to play in the larger resistance movement.
The fund will launch with an initial $500,000 dollars, and its first set of grantees will be curated by 15 advisors, prominent women of color leading in a variety of sectors – from environmental, racial and economic justice, to immigrant, Native and transgender rights. The fund is now accepting donations online at https://groundswellfund.org/donate/.
“Millions of Americans are hungry for leadership that ignites our political imagination and offers clear, concrete pathways forward. Women of color and LGBTQ people of color led organizations are doing just that, energizing newly-engaged people to drive a sea change for greater freedom and justice. Now is the time for funders and donors to meet that level of boldness in their giving strategies,” said Linda Sarsour, fund advisor and CEO of MPower Change.
Co-founder of Black Lives Matter and advisor Alicia Garza adds, “The Liberation Fund will make it easier for donors and funders to identify and resource some of the most effective and innovative organizing at the grassroots led by women of color and transgender people of color. To elevate women of color and trans people of color at a time when our communities are under extreme duress is not only smart, but essential for our survival. There’s never been a better time for donors and funders to put their money directly where change is happening.”
The Liberation Fund’s expansive approach advances Groundswell’s mission of reproductive justice – ensuring we all have the power to make decisions about our bodies, families and futures.
“The greatest force in any fight against fascism is solidarity,” said Vanessa Daniel, Groundswell Fund executive director. “The Trump Administration is trying to divide us. If there is one thing that grassroots organizing efforts run by women of color and trans people of color understand better than anyone else, it’s that, as Audre Lorde once said, none of us live single-issue lives. Our fates are intertwined. If we can’t ensure our children aren’t deported, shot by the police, or poisoned by polluted drinking water – we don’t have true reproductive justice or freedom. If we can’t stand together to defend those under greatest attack, then we will lack the backbone to protect anyone. Women of color and transgender people of color are shining the light on the path of solidarity that the larger progressive movement must travel in order to win. We must invest in their leadership. The Liberation Fund is dedicated to doing just that.”
The first fund grants will be awarded in the summer of 2017.
“At a time when trans women of color experience and face disproportionate amounts of violence at the hands of the state and society, it is so critical for movements and resources to amplify the voices of TWOC leaders and community-based organizations that are empowering our most vulnerable” said Isa Noyola, director of programs at the Transgender Law Center. “This fund is a show of support and signal to the movement that we must do better to protect, defend, and uplift TWOC-led work.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit https://groundswellfund.org/liberation-fund/.